Over the years I have created a lot of content – books, reports, visual frameworks and far more – that has been very widely seen. From all this undoubtedly the one piece that has been the most visible globally is my Newspaper Extinction Timeline launched in October 2010, that predicted for each country in which year newspapers in their then-current form would become “insignificant”.
I recently tweeted:
When I was in financial markets I learned about the very plausible "perverse market theory" – the market acts to hurt the most people the most – draws the suckers in, then wipes them out, gives them hope, then tramples on them.
Many are going to get hurt.
— Ross Dawson (@rossdawson) December 8, 2017
I was later asked for more information about perverse market theory, and after digging around I have drawn a blank. The term “perverse market” is usually used to refer to unintended or unanticipated market responses, but that is a different meaning from the one I referred to here.
Perhaps my memory fails me on the concept’s name (let me know if you can instruct me on this!), but the idea really struck me when I heard about it in my early career working in financial markets.
Do markets want to hurt people?
The idea of perverse market theory essentially anthropomorphizes the markets, attributing it intent, not dissimilarly to how Kevin Kelly describes directional behaviors in the development of technology in his book What Technology Wants.
The Commonwealth Bank Jobs and Skills of the Future Report I wrote recently dug into how work and jobs are changing and what skills will be required. These shifts in work mean it is crystal clear that education must also change.
Below is an excerpt from the report giving a snapshot of some of the shifts needed in education:
Education of the Future
Looking further into the future of education, we may see a radical restructuring of how we learn, not just in schools and universities, but through our entire life. Classrooms will continue to exist, enhanced through the use of a wide range of new tools, technologies and methodologies. Education will also become an ongoing part of everyone’s lives, and embedded into our employment, helping us improve our skills and capabilities while we work.
Last week I ran a three-day strategy workshop in Dubai for a group of senior executives who are marked as the next generation of leaders in a global professional services firm.
The heart of the workshop used scenario thinking to broaden their perspectives on change and strategic opportunity in their industry. We also wanted to provide a useful framework for the executives to develop and implement effective strategies for their respective country operations.
I was not able to find any strategy frameworks that were sufficiently relevant and pragmatic, so created a summary framework designed to be useful to any executives or entrepreneurs who need to develop practical, actionable strategies. I distilled the approaches and frames I have been successfully using for facilitating strategy development over the years with many executive groups, bringing it together into a succinct 6-step guide.
See below the diagram for a detailed explanation of the framework.
Australia’s largest bank Commonwealth Bank has just released a very interesting white paper Welcome to the machine-to-machine economy, anticipating machines engaging in financial transactions with other machines or parties, for example hiring and paying for their own maintenance workers. This would require them to have their own bank accounts and payment systems.
I was honored to recently give a Special Lecture at Stony Brook University in Long Island, NY, on Leadership for the Future of Work.
I discussed how in a world in which work is dramatically changing, we must all show leadership in taking the actions that will shape as positive a future as possible for society.
Two articles on my keynote captured some of the points I made.
A piece in The Statesman Keynote speaker Ross Dawson discusses the future of work noted:
Futurist Richard Watson and I have collaborated for many years on client projects and visual frameworks, including Trend Blend 2007, over a decade ago sparking the trend for using subway maps to display trends and their intersections.
Richard is still at it, having recently created a massive visual exploration based on the London train network of MegaTrends out to 2050.
It is absolutely clear that better, broader education will be essential in creating a positive future of work. However we still need to work out precisely what is the education that will be most relevant for tomorrow’s world. Read more
Last week I ran a half-day program on Integrating an Innovation Mindset with Effective Governance for Bursa Malaysia (the Malaysian stock exchange) attended by 160 company directors.
Over the last years I have annually run two-day innovation programs for the Malaysian Director’s Academy (MINDA), designed to develop company directors’ capabilities and mindset to engage with and promote effective innovation in the organizations they lead. I was pleased to have the opportunity to take these ideas to a broader audience of senior company directors in this dynamic economy.
The key issue for company directors is balancing their fiduciary responsibilities to manage the risk of organizations with the imperative of innovation. Organizations that do not change in a rapidly shifting world will inevitably be left behind.
I would argue that it is not just a question of “balance”, but one of actively integrating innovation and governance, in that understanding that NOT innovating effectively – which requires actively moving into uncertainty – is often the greatest risk.
The future of work has been a central theme of my work for many years. Work sits at the very center of society, the economy, and our individual and collective identities. It may well be the domain that is most disrupted by technological and social change in coming years. And education is at the heart of how we can make these shifts as positive as possible.
As such I was delighted to be commissioned by Commonwealth Bank to create a report in collaboration with their team: The Commonwealth Bank jobs and skills of the future report (12.4MB), to share useful insights for individuals, families and organisations what we can do today to shape a positive future of work for all Australians.